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Maybe the 103rd time will be the charm. Reds beat Cubs, 14-2.

Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

Ryan Hanigan.  Nothing against Ramon Hernandez, but Hanigan just keeps doing it time after time.  Tonight he went 3-5 with a grand slam, a double, a walk, and 5 RBI.  No honorable mentions tonight because everyone played a great game.  Kudos to all!

Key Plays

  • Aaron Harang struck out the side in the first inning, and Reds fans across the world held their breath in hopes that something special was in the offing.  Oh yeah.  In the bottom of the first, new leadoff hitter Orlando Cabrera singled, and Joey Votto hit a home run.  Woo hoo!  Reds lead, 2-0.
  • The Cubs threatened in the second inning, but Jay Bruce threw out Marlon Byrd at home on the fly to keep Chicago off the board.
  • The Reds got their third run in the third inning.  A hustling Brandon Phillips led off with an infield single, then stole second base.  After moving to third on Scott Rolen's groundout, he scored when Jonny Gomes singled.  Reds lead, 3-0.
  • A few quick innings followed, and then the Cubs finally broke through in the sixth.  Ryan Theriot singled, moved to third on a couple of outs, but then scored on Marlon Byrd's infield hit.  Reds lead, 3-1.
  • Things looked perilous in the seventh inning.  Harang quickly struck out Geovany Soto and Alfonso Soriano, but then allowed a double to snotnose Starlin Castro.  With his 121st pitch, he walked pinch hitter Mike Fontenot, and Mike Lincoln came in to take care of business.  Instead, he bobbled a ball hit back to him by Ryan Theriot, and the bases were loaded.  Dusty changed his mind and brought in Arthur Rhodes, who promptly walked pinch hitter Xavier Nady to force in a run.  Reds lead, 3-2.
  • But then the Reds blew the freaking doors off.  A parade of relief pitchers, including Carlos Zambrano oh so satisfyingly, were responsible for the carnage.  Snotnose Castro allowed new leadoff man Orlando Cabrera to reach on an error, and SloCab stole second.  Veteran Mike Fontenot tried to show the youngster how things are done, but he made an error on a ball hit by Brandon Phillips, and there were runners on the corners.  Joey Votto walked, and the bases were loaded with one out.  We're sort of accustomed to the Reds squandering such opportunities, and a strikeout by Scott Rolen brought familiar pangs of recognition.  But Jonny Gomes singled, driving in Cabrera and Phillips, and one out later Drew Stubbs hit an infield single.  Votto scored, and so did Gomes on an audacious slide.  Stubbs looked a little lonely out there on the basepaths, so JNMHSotG hit a double to he could score and go celebrate with his teammates in the dugout.  Reds lead, 8-2.
  • Were the Reds satisfied with such a prodigious offensive explosion?  No!  Next inning, Cabrera led off with a single again, and Phillips hit a double.  The Cubs wisely walked Votto intentionally, and the bases were loaded with no outs again!  Scott Rolen once again made an out, but this time it was a sacrifice fly to score Cabrera.  Jay Bruce got hit by a pitch (although he argued the call and wanted to continue his at bat.  Gangster.) and the bases were loaded again.  Drew Stubbs drew a walk, forcing in Phillips, and then Hanigan hit a grand slam.  Sweet.  Reds win, 14-2.
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Other Notes

  • This was the first game the Reds had won by more than four runs this season.  The 14 runs were the most scored since they pinned 16 on the Mariners on June 22, 2007.
  • Joey Votto's homer was the first Tom Gorzelanny had allowed to a left-handed hitter all season.  Votto's now tied with Scott Rolen for the team home run lead with six, although he's still second in team RBI.  He passed Orlando Cabrera, but Jonny Gomes leapfrogged them both and has 18.  Ryan Hanigan's five RBI gives him 15 on the season, surpassing the 11 he had last season.  Hopefully this will cause Dusty to reevaluate whether Hanigan is a run producer, because he has been fantastic all season.
  • Aaron Harang struck out 9 in 6.2 innings, a season high.